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Electrical question No.26 – Effect of temperature on voltage

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  • #218

    I am looking into silicon solar cells but cannot find any sources which explain why open circuit voltage decreases with rise in temperature.
    I know that voltage decreases with temperature but why?

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  • Author
  • #1441

      An ideal solar cell may be modelled by a current source in parallel with a diode; in practice no solar cell is ideal, so a shunt resistance and a series resistance component are added to the model. The resulting equivalent circuit of a solar cell is shown on the left. Also shown, on the right, is the schematic representation of a solar cell for use in circuit diagrams. By the Shockley diode equation, the current diverted through the diode is: where I0 = reverse saturation current n = diode ideality factor q = elementary charge k = Boltzmann’s constant T = absolute temperature Temperature affects the characteristic equation in two ways: directly, via T in the exponential term, and indirectly via its effect on I0. The net effect is to reduce VOC linearly with increasing temperature. The magnitude of this reduction is inversely proportional to VOC; that is, cells with higher values of VOC suffer smaller reductions in voltage with increasing temperature.

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